LGAQ con­fer­ence brings com­mon is­sues to fore

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS - Alexia Austin Alexia.Austin@ west­ern­starnews.com

LAST week, coun­cils from across the state gath­ered at the Glad­stone En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre for the Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land’s (LGAQ) 121st an­nual con­fer­ence.

The con­fer­ence, which ran over two days, pro­vided a plat­form from which coun­cils could de­bate is­sues of im­por­tance to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties through a se­ries of full ple­nary, split ple­nary and work­shop ses­sions.

Fed­eral, state and lo­cal govern­ment mem­bers from 77 shires at­tended the event, along with a num­ber of ex­ter­nal stake­hold­ers, in­dus­try sup­pli­ers and mem­bers of the me­dia.

This year’s con­fer­ence cen­tred heav­ily around the up­com­ing state elec­tion, with the LGAQ board dis­cussing their ten point elec­tion plan, which fea­tured lob­bies to in­crease early lit­er­acy and in­dige­nous sup­port in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

The coun­cil del­e­gates also cast their votes over a se­ries of 90 mo­tions, put for­ward by lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

Deputy Mayor of the Balonne Shire Fiona Gaske said she had re­turned from the event with new knowl­edge and ideas for her com­mu­nity.

“Over­all, it was a good con­fer­ence and there were some very in­ter­est­ing speak­ers, in­clud­ing the Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Govern­ment Mark Turner, and the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Kate Jones,” Cr Gaske said.

“There were a lot of great ideas that we can bring back, with some of the most in­ter­est­ing con­cepts com­ing from the panel demon­stra­tions.

“Some com­mu­ni­ties are us­ing geo­ther­mal power and oth­ers have fan­tas­tic li­brary pro­grams, there is a lot to be gained from net­work­ing.”

Mur­weh coun­cil­lor Shaun Radnedge shared this sen­ti­ment, adding that the con­fer­ence had pro­vided him with new in­dus­try con­tacts.

“The best thing I got from the week was talk­ing to the other shires about their poli­cies, their pro­cure­ment and em­ploy­ment, and how they run their coun­cils in gen­eral,” Cr Radnedge said.

“I spoke to Maranoa Cr David Schefe about pro­cure­ment and how we could im­ple­ment it in the Mur­weh shire, although we are smaller.

“It was very in­for­ma­tive. We also got to speak to key mem­bers from the Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads about is­sues in our area, and on other nights we got to mix with the premier and a num­ber of min­is­ters. Now if we have an is­sue we know who to speak to.”

Maranoa coun­cil­lor Geoff Mc­Mullen said the con­fer­ence had bought po­ten­tial so­lu­tions to long stand­ing is­sues within the shire.

“This year’s con­fer­ence was good, the best part as a some­what new coun­cil­lor was be­ing able to com­pare notes and so­lu­tions on cer­tain is­sues,” Cr Mc­Mullen said.

“There were a num­ber of mo­tions that will po­ten­tially ben­e­fit the Maranoa shire.

“Th­ese in­cluded dou­bling the Trans­port De­vel­op­ment Scheme grants for main roads de­vel­op­ment and lob­by­ing to con­trol fly­ing fox pop­u­la­tions.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

COUN­CILS COL­LAB­O­RATE: Maranoa Re­gional Coun­cil’s Cameron O’Neil speaks at the LGAQ Con­fer­ence in Glad­stone last week.

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